Feeds

IBM tears up open source patent pledge, claims FOSS

Turbo-charged accusations fly

Mobile application security vulnerability report

IBM snubbed a request from the British founder of TurboHercules SAS to let it offer a disaster recovery product for IBM mainframe users and instead accused the French open source startup of violating its intellectual property.

According to a letter published today by NosoftwarePatents founder Florian Mueller, Big Blue has abandoned its commitment to the open source community by attacking the Hercules project, which was founded by Roger Bowler more than a decade ago.

The mainframe emulator code was written to enable users to run IBM's z/OS on x64 or Itanium iron instead of System z hardware from Big Blue.

"A reliable source close to the Hercules project has provided me with this letter that Mark Anzani, IBM's mainframe CTO, recently sent to TurboHercules SAS," wrote Mueller.

"The letter comes with a 'non-exhaustive' list including 106 IBM patents plus 67 pending patent applications."

He claimed that the list includes two of the US patents (5613086 and 5220669) which were among the 500 patents IBM pledged not to use against the open source community.

"This is so appalling that I felt compelled to show to the FOSS community what IBM is doing: IBM is using patent warfare in order to protect its highly lucrative mainframe monopoly against Free and Open Source Software."

Mueller is demanding regulatory action against IBM, which already faces an anti-trust probe after TurboHercules filed a complaint with the European Commission last month.

"In an area in which IBM generates massive revenues (an estimated $25bn annually just on mainframe software sales!), any weapon will be brought into position against open source," griped Mueller.

"Even patents, which represent to open source what nuclear arms are in the physical world."

We asked Big Blue to comment on this story, but at time of writing it hadn't gotten back to us. ®

The Power of One Infographic

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.